Meet Our Interns: Rachael

I have been interning at the Samburu Project for about 4 months now and it has been a real learning opportunity for me. At the beginning of the school year, I was definitely stressed about my skills and past experience in terms of entering the work force. I am a senior at UCLA studying International Development so I guess you could say that I was and still am a little nervous about graduating. After a long summer full of professional rejection (lol) I was feeling a little discouraged. But I got lucky and a friend of mine told me about an opening at the Samburu Project so applied immediately. I have a few friends who worked here in the past so I thought it was a great opportunity. I’m not going to lie…I did not have a strong interest in water sanitation/accessibility, I was a lot more concerned about actually having an internship and getting general experience.
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I first worked with another intern in social media to publicize our Samburu Splash Bash event in November. Digging through old pictures and articles, I became familiar with past accomplishments and how much work it takes to drill just one well (and we’ve drilled 63!). I’ve learned what water scarcity means and the distinct social and economic implications it has. In my area of study, we mostly talk about theories of development…why this method failed…why this economist was wrong…why we even look at development. After talking so much about development, being at the Samburu Project is refreshing and enlightening. I actually get to see where theory is put into action and the impact we are having on those most in need. I can definitely say I’ve learned a lot about an issue that at times is overlooked amongst other global concerns. But the truth is, water is at the base of it all: education, economic stability, women’s empowerment, health, anything. Water creates the opportunity to develop in the first place.

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